Eroding: neighborhood support -- UPDATE | Arkansas Blog

Tuesday, August 22, 2006

Eroding: neighborhood support -- UPDATE

Posted By on Tue, Aug 22, 2006 at 1:16 PM

McGeorge Construction Co. has gotten a reprieve to put erosion controls in at the Pleasant Ridge shopping center under construction on Highway 10 off Interstate 430, environmental compliance engineer Nathan Charles said today.


Public works issued a written notice to McGeorge Monday that it had 24 hours to complete the work or a stop work order would be issued for the big center, which will include a Parisian department store.


Today, however, Charles said the city decided that 24 hours was not a “reasonable time frame” for the contractor to complete the work, which includes putting in silk silt fencing, dams and diversion buoys. “In their behalf, every time they’ve told them to do something they’ve done it,” Charles said.


Public works visited the 300-acre development last Thursday after calls from neighbors in Pleasant Ridge expressed concerns that topsoil on the site would wash into nearby Piedmont Lake unless something were done. (Deverlopers' failure to protect the small lake from runoff has been a problem of years' standing.) Charles said landscapers had pushed the soil up without doing any erosion control, and the city gave a verbal notice that controls had to be put in place.

UPDATE: There's a city news release on the jump. (We wonder why the city didn't act on inaequate erosion controls until neighbors objected. Where were the inspectors?) Also, neighbors have reacted sharply.

 

Charles Pruitt, president of the Piedmont Neighborhood Association, said the city had broken a promise to issue a stop-work order. “I’d like to know how high up the chain at city hall that went.” He said he checked the site regularly and corrections to erosion control had not been made as of today.

 

Pruitt said owners of land around Piedmont Lake were considering a lawsuit against the developer and excavation contractor over the impact of erosion on the lake. "The lake is full of mud."

 

Pruitt said the neighbors felt neglected by the city. “We had a promise and they reneged on it.”


LITTLE ROCK NEWS RELEASE

Officials from the City of Little Rock Public Works Department yesterday issued a Notice of Violation (NOV) to a contractor working on the new Pleasant Ridge development on Cantrell Road west of Interstate 430.  This action was prompted by concerns over the lack of erosion control devices on the property.  After receiving the NOV, the contractor worked to bring the site into compliance. 

According to Steve Haralson, director of Public Works, "The City's Land Alteration Ordinance provides for three enforcement mechanisms:  1) Notice of Violation (NOV); 2) Citation; and 3) Stop Work Order.  The City issues an NOV routinely when compliance issues are discovered like the one Staff found late last week.”

“On Monday the NOV was issued because of insufficient erosion controls,” continued Haralson.  “Any further enforcement action after the NOV depends on the response to it – citations and stop work orders are used only when necessary to achieve compliance.  Had the contractor not responded immediately and appropriately to the NOV, City staff would have taken additional steps to ensure compliance.”

After reviewing the work of the contractor, the City was satisfied with the contractor’s efforts.  “As a result of the contractor’s response, Public Works doesn’t anticipate other immediate enforcement action.”

This action by the City was brought to the attention of local media by a resident who lives near the project.  Haralson noted that Pleasant Ridge is a high profile project and therefore could be of greater public interest.  He stated that Public Works staff regularly visits construction sites to ensure that the City ordinances are being followed.


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